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Gynecological intrauterine brachytherapy training for radiation therapists: The development and implementation of a training program

  • Sylvia Hanna
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Department of Radiation Oncology, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, Austin Health, 145 Studley Rd, Heidelberg, Melbourne 3084, Australia
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiation Oncology, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
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  • Carminia Lapuz
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiation Oncology, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
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  • Adeline Lim
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiation Oncology, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
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      Abstract

      PURPOSE

      Gynecological brachytherapy (GynBT) is an important part of gynecological cancer management. At Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJCWRC), Melbourne, Australia, radiation therapists (RTs) are integral to the MRI adaptive GynBT program workflow. However, there is limited GynBT training available for RTs in Australia. A GynBT training program has been developed at ONJCWRC to meet this need and support RTs in becoming competent, proficient and confident in the various roles in GynBT. This is a preliminary report on the development and implementation of a credentialing program, providing a structured approach to GynBT training of RTs.

      METHODS AND MATERIALS

      A credentialing program was designed with modules and competency assessments to ensure efficiency and proficiency of RTs in the GynBT workflow. The program includes theoretical modules in anatomy, international GynBT guidelines, radiation safety and local protocols; and practical modules in equipment, ultrasound for GynBT, operating theatre procedures, MRI, contouring, applicator reconstruction, planning, quality assurance and treatment delivery. Learning strategies include self-directed learning, tutorials, practical sessions, and third-party courses. The program concludes with an exit examination assessing major competencies.

      RESULTS

      The program was implemented in April 2018 with three RTs completing the program and passing the exit examination on first attempt. On post-program survey, the RTs felt the program was comprehensive, helping to build their confidence, and proficiency in GynBT.

      CONCLUSIONS

      A GynBT RT credentialing program was successfully developed and implemented to improve the quality of training at ONJCWRC. This program is mandatory for RTs joining the GynBT team. This program can provide a framework for implementation of GynBT training in other centers.

      Keywords

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